Joseph Stevens (Born April 17, 1986), formerly known as JS2, is a retired British professional wrestler best known for his career in numerous federations, notably Independent Wrestling X, Wrestling Revisited, Hybrid Championship Wrestling, Attitude Reborn and Northeast Wrestling Alliance. A controversial talent, Stevens was often fired from companies in conspicuous circumstances, gaining him a reputation as a journeyman and talented troublemaker. Despite this, Stevens became a well-known face in large-scale promotions, earning occasional main-event stints hindered by his antagonistic nature.
In 2010, Stevens had made some attempts at repairing his reputation with a stint in British promotion Independent Wrestling X, but following the promotion's demise, went on an unannounced and largely presumed permanent hiatus from the industry.
In-ring Debut, brief stint in WXWF (2006)
In July 2006, Stevens broke into the wrestling business in the World Xtreme Wrestling Federation as an enhancement talent under the name JS2, losing a series of one-sided matches to OOMAGA. Any hope of a permanent place in WXWF was dashed when Stevens, in attempt to gain notoriety, delivered an unprovoked shoot promo towards the company's on-screen management and attempted to perform his finisher on two in-ring talents during a house show. For this behaviour, JS2 was released from his contract and barred from future WXWF events.
Immediately following his release from WXWF, JS2 was signed to HaVoc, spending time in training before debuting in developmental and forming a team known as The Ultimate Alliance alongside Charlie Lawless. A friendly bout against Lawless shortly after the pair's debut saw JS2 viciously turn on his partner, losing the match in an uncontrolled rage. In the weeks that followed, JS2 was on a losing streak explained by his uncoordinated anger, until forming the Rebel World Order with brother The Lightning Kid and the recently-debuted Psyno. This group feuded with the Overdrive stable, comprising Timo Morbid, Sean Feeney and Josh Ishda - Timo and Sean would go on to be long-term rivals and occasional tag-team partners of JS2's throughout his career. Benefitting from the RWO's mild popularity, JS2 was given a main roster singles push, including title shots against Kyle Warren, with whom backstage tension quickly developed. After several heated incidents, JS2 was released from HaVoc early in 2007.
DAMAGE and Wrestling Revisited (2007)
Stevens journeyed around the independent circuit for the first half of 2007, wrestling in dozens of upstart promotions, often for no more than one or two matches. During this time, he captured the DAMAGE European Championship, his first title, in a bloody hardcore match. Using this match to foster an aura of notoriety, JS2 developed a more hardcore style, often employing barbed wire and moves banned by some companies. However, this new reputation did not benefit him or the promotion, as he lost the European title shortly before DAMAGE's demise.
JS2's next engagement was with WWE Revisited, where he gained his first main event exposure in hardcore matches against the likes of Grant Martin, who defeated him to retain the Undisputed Championship in the promotion's penultimate event. It was reported that JS2's unreliability was a factor in management's decision to withold any kind of rematch, but he remained with the promotion until its closure nevertheless.
Hybrid Championship Wrestling (2007-2008)
After discussions for a return to HaVoc fell through, JS2 signed with Hybrid Championship Wrestling, a successor company to the now-defunct WXWF. The move was a surprise, as after JS2 seemed to hold a grudge over his release from WXWF. Vignettes promoting his debut played up this grudge, although it was never incorporated into storylines. JS2 debuted at Fall to Resolve 2007 squashing The Star Spangled Butt Kicker. On the following Sunday Night Onslaught, he lost to Fall of Dark member Kid Rock. After a long period of squash match losses on Onslaught and narrow, cheap wins on PPV, JS2 had made become resented by crowds and disliked backstage due to his egotistical attitude, relative lack of wrestling skill and polarising comedy skits with the reformed rWo, now consisting of himself, 'Lightning Kid' Jay Stevens, Psyno and Psyno's brother, Lmo Red. JS2 has acknowledged that, in retrospect, he thought "way too highly" of his position in the promotion, taking the crowd's loud, often hostile reactions as a sign of success. Once the legitimately popular team of Psyno and Lmo Red won the Tag Team Championships, they immediately and quietly disassociated themselves from the Rebel World Order, leaving JS2 and his brother as a lower-card tag team. The rWo in this incarnation dissolved when Jay Stevens left the promotion in December 2007, citing backstage friction between JS2 and others as his reason for departure.
A sole moment of near-triumph for JS2 came in January 2008, when he faced underdog HCW World Heavyweight Champion Hunter Spade in a title match on an episode of Onslaught. Much to the chagrin of audience and staff alike, JS2 vastly outclassed the champion, coming close to an upset victory when Slayer ran down to the ring and attacked Spade, causing a no contest. JS2 maintains a claim that HCW management sent Slayer to the ring to rob him of a rightful victory.
A heavy losing streak followed, until growing resentment from most of the locker room came to a head when JS2 was involved in a heated argument with Former WXWF Star Lamar Jackston Jones and Slayer. As a result of this, JS2 resigned from the company via email. He later said if he hadn't quit, he "Would've been fired in about 5 minutes", as management were about to show up at the scene of the altercation.
JS2's release from the company was made official in February 2008, but he was briefly re-signed in May to conclude his controversial feud with Lamar Jackston Jones. After soundly beating Jones in a PPV match, JS2 once again left the promotion upon being offered a contract by HaVoc.
Wrestling's Attitude Reborn (February-May 2008)
JS2 immediately signed to Wrestling's Attitude Reborn following his depature from HCW, and was assigned to SmackDown!, where, using the blue-chipper face gimmick of "The Future", he embarked on what would become a long winning streak, buoyed by his improved technical skill. Defeating Mike LaFrance in his debut match, JS2 embarked on a mini-feud with Shaun McMahon and rose through the ranks of WAR, but left in May, citing a lack of plans by management for his future in the company. This mildly successful run did, however, lead to JS2 recapturing the attention of his ex-employers in both HaVoc and Hybrid Championship Wrestling. Amid reports of improved backstage behaviour and evidence of in-ring improvement, Stevens would enter into contract negotiations with both companies, appearing in HCW as a free agent before being signed exclusively by HaVoc once again.
Return to HaVoc (2008)
JS2 joined HaVoc again, as a face with a largely similar persona to that which he developed in WAR. Originally, plans were mooted for a Rebel World Order return featuring Marco Magic and Psyno, but this was shelved as Magic left the company, leading to separate singles pushes for JS2 and Psyno. JS2 was embroiled in a feud in the ring with JD Stylez, while tensions rose backstage with United States champion Jackal, a one-time rival of The Lightning Kid. JS2's feud with Stylez, over the vacant European Title, ended when JD won the belt. JS2's rivalry with Jackal became an on-screen feud, but was cut short when HaVoc went on hiatus, leaving JS2 to resume negotiations with HCW.
False restart with HCW and return to indies (2008-2009)
For a brief period in 2008, Stevens was involved in heavy negotiations with Hybrid Championship Wrestling, going so far as to sign a contract to re-debut with an immediate shot at the PURE Championship. However, tensions re-emerged as new owner Trent Jacobs mocked JS2 in email communications with the roster. JS2 quit the company, forfeiting his title shot in the process.
JS2 then journeyed between several independent promotions for the rest of 2008, at one point signing a contract with British company Independent Wrestling X, his first engagement with a company in his home country since his career began. JS2 won his debut contest against Lauren Brooks, but hesitated to sign on for future events due to his reluctance to compete in intergender matches. Around this time, JS2 was offered a new contract with Attitude Reborn, which he signed.
Attitude Reborn Return (January-April 2009)
JS2 returned to Attitude Reborn in the beginning of 2009, bringing with him a refomed rWo featuring Lmo Red, Marco Magic and The Lightning Kid, as well as former HCW rival-turned-mentor Ken Davison. After an unsuccessful showing for the unit in the Royal Rumble match, JS2 began a singles run, the rWo acting as a loosely allied faction as they slipped back into a comedy role with The Lightning Kid at the forefront. JS2 reconciled with Hybrid Championship Wrestling during his time under contract with WAR, competing in both promotions and eventually HCW's successor company, the Northeast Wrestling Alliance. This double-duty took a toll on JS2, who was injured by former rival Sean Feeney in a ladder match after competing in two events on one night. Following this injury, JS2 left Attitude Reborn for the final time, to focus on competition in the NWA.
HCW Return and Northeast Wrestling Alliance (2009)
Stevens largely resolved his backstage differences with the HCW roster and management, returning to challenge Lamar Jackston Jones III once again at the company's final events.
JS2 then signed to the upstart Northeast Wrestling Alliance upon the recommendation of many HCW stars. He wrestled his first match, a loss to Rush Marconi with some foul play by Marconi's "Family" faction involved. The next week, although ill, he, The Sock and War defeated The Family after Sock got the pin. Around this time, he debuted a manager, Amy St. Thomas.
In April, a request to pull out of NWA's "Clean Slate" PPV to compete for Attitude Reborn was refused by NWA staff, leading JS2 to pull double-duty, competing at both events. JS2 seriously injured his leg in the ladder match. NWA's following event saw Rush Marconi's "Family" destroy his hurt leg with a steel chair. He was also attacked by William Burke the next week. This was JS2's last NWA appearance for some time.
Following NWA's merger with True Champion Wrestling, JS2's longtime friend from England, Matt Rayner, debuted in the company, feuding with TCW superstar Freddy Skinner. Matt recruited JS2 for a tag team USA vs. UK Flag match, Freddy Skinner teaming with Fo Nobutada for the bout. During the match, JS2 and Skinner turned on their respective partners, forming an alliance known as The Nation Of Annihilation. JS2 began using his real name, Joseph Stevens, and the two waged war on NWA. On the last show, the pair claimed to "make good on their promise to take over" when Stevens won the Lionheart Championship (Skinner had won the Hybrid Championship at the prior PPV, the Lance Daniels Memorial Tournament). Skinner and Stevens destroyed the NWA set, driving through the stage with a bulldozer and attacking the two Main-Event participants, Wrett Warren and Johnathan Parks, with sledgehammers.
Project Capricorn Wrestling (2009)
Following the death of IWX, The Nation went their separate ways, both going to their hometowns (Skinner to Avalon, New Jersey, and Stevens to England). While in Jersey, Skinner discovered an upstart Internet promotion called Project Capricorn Wrestling. After securing spots on the roster for both himself and Stevens, he went to England and persuaded his tag team partner to return to the USA and perform for PCW. While Stevens had never competed for such a small promotion and had abandoned unsanctioned, hardcore wrestling some years before, he accepted Skinner's offer. In the first of what was intended as a weekly event, Skinner seriously injured his back after a powerbomb onto the concrete floor of the PCW "Pit". Stevens was due to face Tyler Graves in a singles match, but the promotion ended just before the second week, amid rumours that local authorities had deemed the events unsafe and potentially illegal.
Final HaVoc run, main event and departure (2009-2010)
After an absence from Wrestling of a couple of months, Stevens (Again under the name JS2), returned to HaVoc in December 2009. He won his first two matches, qualifying for a World Heavyweight Championship ladder match at that month's PPV against ALX. After controlling the early stages of the match, JS2 lost after being knocked from the ladder. JS2 then waged war on the main event scene, calling out the champion several times to no response. After being cost his Elimination Chamber qualifier due to ALX's interference, JS2 started becoming more aggressive in his pursuit of the Champion. In one appearance, he destroyed the backstage area of one arena, before walking to the ring and intently watching ALX's match. He was taken away from the arena and "suspended indefinitely". His last appearance involved him entering the arena through a fire exit, verbally running the by-then former champion ALX down on the mic, and leaving. These events were widely assumed to be part of a storyline, but JS2's failure to reappear in HaVoc (once his favoured promotion) since then have provoked speculation that the outbursts were unplanned symptoms of his unstable mental state.
Independent Wrestling X Return and retirement (2010)
After leaving HaVoC, JS2 was called by Samuel Hessingstock, who offered him a permanent spot in IWX. He accepted, signing a deal to wrestle in Britain for the first time in 4 years and once more under his birth name. He debuted as a heel, but after battle lines were drawn between GM Hessingstock and CEO Dylan "Gamr" Scott, Stevens apparently took the side of Hessingstock, winning the favour of the loyal fans. Joseph Stevens was quickly acknowledged as one of the most technically-gifted wrestlers in the company, vastly improving his in-ring reputation while curtailing his unreliability enough to gain a role as a backstage staff member. His success, however, hit a roadblock when he faced trained mixed-martial-artist Aleksy Madej in a falls-count-anywhere match. In a result said to be down to Stevens's lack of training in Madej's style, the match was a one-sided hardcore beatdown, with Madej winning the fight after knocking Stevens unconscious in the parking lot. Post-match, however, Aleksy was attacked by a returning Freddy Skinner, who realigned with Stevens in a team now known as Generation Annihilation. The tandem were successful for the remainder of IWX's run, but when internal tensions between senior staff members hit boiling point, Stevens put his in-ring career on hiatus and bought a controlling stake in the promotion alongside a small group of allies. This ultimately proved unsuccessful, as Stevens was unable to secure the trademarks to much of IWX's intellectual property, which were being withheld by a disgruntled former general manager. Having lost money buying the company and with no means to continue it, Stevens let IWX fold, taking with it his best chance at a continued career; although his reputation was at an all-time high in his home country, he still struggled under the shadow of his past in the United States. Unable to find a new permanent employer, Joseph Stevens retired from wrestling and remained in England, bitterly refusing to speak of his career or make any kind of appearances.
Stevens is a big fan of The Beatles, as well of punk rock bands such as Against Me! and Lagwagon. Once taking on the gimmck of a Juggalo in HCW, Stevens denounced the Insane Clown Posse, saying "it's all, really [...] juvenile shit. But it got me heat, so it did its job."
Stevens lists Jonathan Parks, Ken Davison and Bob Pooler as influences in wrestling and promo style.
Stevens was, during his most acrimonious period with HCW, receiving what he described as "a really childish attempt at homophobic bullying", culminating in a hack on his social media accounts. In a rare, post-retirement interview, Stevens said "these guys...was that the fucking best they could come up with? 'He likes cock'? Some of these motherfuckers have children who, by the way, I feel very sorry for." It is unknown if these incidents were a reference to the real-life sexuality of Joseph Stevens (which is not a matter of public record), or simply pejorative slurs.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Aggressive DDT (Signature 2006 - 2010, finisher in WWE HaVoc currently)
- Car Crash/The Future/FacePlant (Leg-trap reverse STO; used as regular move from 2007-2010, renamed FacePlant and used as finisher outside WWE HaVoc)
- The Revolution/Ultimate Revolution/Revolution-Air (Double underhook facebuster; 2008-2010)
- Crossface Chickenwing
- JS2 Bomb (2006 - 2008; JS2 Hooks The opponents arms over his shoulders from behind, lifts and slams them)
- Entrance Themes
- "The Broken" by Fireball Ministry (WXWF, HaVoc; 2006-2007)
- "96 Quite Bitter Beings" by CKY (HCW with the Rebel World Order - 2007; various promotions, solo - 2008-2010) [the theme most often associated with Stevens]
- "Chicken Huntin" by The Insane Clown Posse (HCW - 2007-2009)
- "The Future is Now" by The Solids (Attitude Reborn - 2008)
- "Cheesecake" by Camaros (various promotions - 2007-2008, Independent Wrestling X - 2009-2010)
- "Liberate" by Disturbed (various promotions with Freddy Skinner - 2009-2010)